Your listening tool is as important as the audio source, and some of the best monitors for lives are Fiio FH7 Vs FH9. These IEMs are not only ideal if you are monitoring audio but also versatile for daily use. They are pretty affordable for more people to enjoy but have some noticeable differences. If you want to know which is the better choice, let’s see below what they can offer.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What are the Differences Between Earbuds and IEM
- What are Fiio FH7 and FH9
- How is the Design of Fiio FH7 and FH9
- How is the Technology of Fiio FH7 and FH9
- How is the Fit of Fiio FH7 and FH9
- How are the Sound Qualities of Fiio FH7 and FH9
- Fiio FH7 Vs FH9
Earbuds and IEM
Microphones and speakers are the ends of each other. They are the beginning where your sound is captured and where your sound comes out. Speakers make the sound file or information from your source audible for the ears to pick up. The speakers vary in size, and for more personal use, we have headphones or earphones with a tiny driver or speaker, so it is only audible when extremely close to your ears.
There are earphones or earbuds and IEMs that are very similar. The reason is that the size is identical, and sometimes it is hard to separate the two. Both devices are small, portable audio for personal use and inserted into the ear. The main difference between an earbud and IEMs based on the design is that IEMs rest inside the ear canals while the earbud sits on the outer ear, like the first generation of AirPods. Another difference is the purpose of the device.
IEMs’ primary purpose is to monitor audio, as the name suggests. Like any listening device, Earbuds are more popular among casual music listeners. On the other hand, IEMs are professional tools worn by musicians when doing live performances. They have greater noise sealing and act as an earplug to let the musician hear the music properly. The sound quality is often superior, and they can get quite expensive. Instead of just one driver, IEMs can have a few to improve sound quality.
| ||Fiio FH7||Fiio FH9
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here
|Product Dimensions ||8.11 x 6.1 x 3.19 inches|
|5.91 x 1.18 x 3.94 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.19 pounds ||1.28 pounds
About Fiio FH7 and FH9
You don’t need to be a professional to buy or wear IEMs because it all falls into personal preference. Usually, those who pay more attention to their audio experience will want to invest in good audiophile headphones or IEMs because they are superior to typical earbuds or the more modern TWS. Price-wise they vary based on the overall quality and brands, but usually, they will be in the hundreds. It is wise to match the quality you want and the budget to spend.
There are many good options to consider, and Fiio is one of the best choices that are pretty well-known in the market and among audiophiles. We are sure most people have heard about this brand before, and probably you have one of their products, such as a DAC, because they also have some of the most attractive offerings. This brand specializes in portable audio and is pretty competitive because they always upgrade the products to follow technological improvements and the market’s demands.
For the IEMs, they are making noticeable improvements over the Fiio FH7 and FH9, which, as the name suggests, are close siblings. Fiio FH7 used to be the company’s flagship for hybrid IEM, but it was in 2019 because they released FH9 in 2021 to replace the older lineup. You can still find the older models, and they arguably look more attractive due to the lower price. But, the FH9 is noticeably a higher model, one of the reasons being its improved driver.
For example, the older FH7 was impressive, similar to the FH5, which is even older. It has four balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver to deliver an accurate sound. But, the FH9 improves the already good setup by adding two more drivers, making it has 6 BA drivers and one dynamic driver. Overall we think the clarity of FH9 and its resolution is superior to FH7, but it also costs $200 more which can be a bit too high for some people since FH7 is not far behind. Read also: Shure SE215 vs Aonic 215 here.
Fiio FH7 and FH9 Design
What we think makes FH9 a worthy investment and choice is the design. It is by no means FH7 has a bad build because aesthetically wise, we like the subtle look better than its more pronounced big brother. The faceplate of FH9 makes it more noticeable, but the titanium build makes it feels great on the hand, especially if you are worried about durability. Both Fiio FH7 and FH9 come with a replaceable nozzle filter to adjust the sound signature you prefer, and you get three types of them.
The FH9 is slightly rounder than the FH7 and its previous models, so it probably fits better too because we feel FH9 gives a fuller fit. Another noticeable difference is their cable because FH9 comes with a pure silver cable which is an impressive improvement over the more standardized cable you get with FH7; even the MMCX connector is stainless steel. Both IEMs include a carrying case, but you also get additional jacks in the box since the jack is removable.
Fiio FH7 and FH9 Technology
The driver’s setup is the main difference between Fiio FH7 and FH9, which may affect their sound character or signature. As mentioned above, the FH9 comes with more, and while it doesn’t mean more powerful, the 6 BA drivers and one dynamic driver will make a difference. This setup is configured with the assistance of Knowless and 2nd generation DLC bass drivers. The FH7 is also an improvement over FH5 because it increases the driver from 10mm in FH5 to 13.6mm, similar to FH9.
Fiio FH7 and FH9 Fitting
We think the fit is essential when buying earbuds or IEMs because it is crucial for sound delivery. To help each user find the best fit, you get several ear tips in the box, and we can try them one by one to see which works best. We like the medium size one because it gives a good sealing ability without being too tight and hurting, but everyone can be different depending on the ear size and shape.
Fiio FH7 and FH9 Sound Quality
Now for the most crucial part, let’s talk about the sound quality of Fiio FH7 and FH9. As expected from IEMs, they are more on the balanced or neutral side. At first, we don’t get the difference between the two, and different ears or ear tips with nozzle combination may hear different results. From the overall imaging, they are flat but not completely neutral. The bass of FH9 is slightly different from FH7 because it is more pronounced in the mid-bass area.
They are typically “bassy” because this area is well controlled and is more defined to produce deep yet detailed and pleasantness. In our ears, the bass of FH9 is more satisfying and probably matches best for those who also pay more attention to this frequency range. If you add the bass filter, the sound will slightly change into the sub-bass region, increasing the impact.
The mid-range of Fiio FH7 and FH9 is excellent, and they are about identical. The sound signature is flat and transparent, with the mid-bass pretty balanced. It is smooth and separated, so you can easily hear the layers of instruments. However, sometimes the FH7 sounds more natural. The treble is not much different and quite bright without overpowering the rest. We think FH9 sounds better on the high frequency mainly because of its improved detail.
Fiio FH7 and FH9 Staging
Next, we want to talk about staging, which differs between Fiio FH7 and FH9. The main difference is that FH9 has noticeably better details, separation, and imaging than FH7. We recommend trying the treble filter to make them sound more open and airy. The instruments are presented in a good balance and articulation. The resolution is overall better than FH7 and is one of FH9’s most remarkable points in the price range. The FH7 is far from bad, but it is not as impressive as a big brother.
Fiio FH7 Vs FH9
Both Fiio FH7 and FH9 are good options depending on which seems to fit your preference better. They sound equally good but not identical. The resolution is noticeable better on FH9, probably because of the additional drivers. It is suitable for you to listen to the audio in the best quality, especially if you pay more attention to separation and staging. The treble is better on FH9, and the bass is slightly stronger, too, so it is not entirely neutral as a reference.
Another difference is design and build quality. FH9 is the new flagship, so it uses better material, improved design, and added features. Overall, it is a refined version of the older IEMs from the lineup but also quite expensive.
- Aerospace-grade aluminum-magnesium alloy, treated with five-axis CNC machining
- 4 Knowles DFK+SWFK BA driver units and one 13.6mm large beryllium diaphragm dynamic driver
- S.TURBO acoustic design, exotic-inspired independent sound tubes and exotic-inspired acoustic structural design
- Provided with a LC-3.5C earphone cable that is composed of high-purity Litz monocrystalline copper-plated silver wires
- [Flagship Hybrid IEM's, 6BA+1DD]: FiiO’s new flagship hybrid IEMs, the FH9 This 1 dynamic 6 BA driver design (7 in total) features a 2nd generation 13.6mm DLC diaphragm dynamic bass driver fully capable of extending to the lowest frequencies with ample punch. Mid and high frequencies are handled by a custom 6 Knowles BA setup that accurately reproduces every last musical detail. Together, these drivers provide a rich and detailed musical soundscape fully befitting a flagship.
- [Titanium alloy construction]: Not only is the FH9’s titanium alloy construction beautiful, but its extreme rigidity also helps to greatly minimize unwanted harmonics and resonances for better sound quality. Each FH9 ear unit is precisely made with five-axis CNC machining to ensure it meets tight tolerances and be of high build quality. Which allows you to easily immerse yourself into long listening sessions.
- [Interchangeable sound filters]: The flagship FH9 comes standard with three interchangeable sound filters. Each sound filter has its own damping and filter density, allowing you to choose between three different sound signatures: Red sound filter——Enhanced, dynamic bass focus; Black sound filter——Clear, transparent, balanced timbre; Green sound filter——Highly resolving, detailed treble focus.
- [Stainless steel angled MMCX connectors]: The beautiful stainless steel angled MMCX connectors are designed to make your wearing experience as painless as possible. Details such as the special angle allow you to more easily connect your IEMs for more comfortable wearing as well as the left blue right red indicators to quickly get you going. All serve to let you purely focus on enjoying your music.
The decision is all yours because not everyone has the same preference. We recommend FH9 if you don’t have any issues with the budget because it is a very noticeable upgrade from the FH7. It overall sounds better and has a more refined build quality.